Page 9 - BusinessWest January 20, 2021
P. 9

 Community Spotlight
Pandemic Doesn’t Halt Greenfield’s Progress
FBy Mark Morris
or MJ Adams, 2020 felt like someone had pushed a ‘pause’ button.
Adams, director of Community and Eco- nomic Development for the city of Greenfield, had taken part in a dynamic public forum early in the year titled “A Deliberate Downtown” that focused on revitalization plans for Greenfield.
Then the pandemic hit. And when it became
“Because small businesses
are such a critical piece of the economy in Greenfield and Franklin County, we worked together to quickly design a program that didn’t exist before.”
clear the pause would last for more than a few weeks, she and her staff shifted their focus.
“We knew there was going to be an immedi- ate cash-flow problem for local businesses, so we moved quickly to develop a small-business assistance program to provide micro-enterprise
 grants,” Adams said.
Working with other Franklin County towns,
Greenfield pooled its available block-grant funds with those from Montague, Shelburne, and Buckland.
“Because small businesses are such a critical piece of the economy in Greenfield and Franklin County, we worked together to quickly design
a program that didn’t exist before,” Adams said. “The micro-enterprise grants provided a cash source for small businesses until they were able to access funds from the federal Paycheck Protec- tion Program.”
On the public-health side of the pandemic, Mayor Roxann Wedegartner credited the emer- gency-management team in Greenfield for their early and quick action.
“We were one of the first communities in the state to attempt to manage the public-health side of COVID-19 from the get-go,” she said, adding that her team also set up contact tracing early in the pandemic. The John Zon Community Center has served as an emergency-command area for COVID testing for Greenfield and surrounding communities. First responders are now able to receive COVID-19 vaccinations at the facility.
Like most communities, Wedegartner admits Greenfield has taken an economic hit due to the pandemic. She pointed to the micro-enterprise
        Welcome, New Members!
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  Please contact the Chamber for details about membership options and benefits. 413-773-5463
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 Nashua, NH | Manchester, NH | Andover, MA | Greenfield, MA | Ellsworth, ME 800.282.2440 |
JANUARY 20, 2021 9
  Greenfield at a glance
AREA: 21.9 square miles
COUNTY: Franklin
TYPE OF GOVERNMENT: Mayor, City Council
LARGEST EMPLOYERS: Baystate Franklin Medical Center, Greenfield Community College, the Sandri Companies
* Latest information available

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